A US software vendor claiming that all companies selling Wap technology are infringing on its patent is seeking to block the import to the US of Sanyo Wap phones that feature Phone.com's micro-browser.
Geoworks has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against the two companies in the latest move in a marathon battle to protect its intellectual property.
Geoworks' technology determines how applications can be displayed on a variety of platforms, including mobile phones, and is considered a key component in the development of Wap software.
Dave Grannan, Geoworks' president and chief executive, said the company had always believed that licensing, not litigation, is the best route to obtain compensation for what it claims is the widespread use of its Flexible User Interface (Flex UI) technology.
Phone.com sued Geoworks in April claiming that its technology does not infringe on Geoworks' and that it is not therefore required to license the patent. Two months later, Geoworks counter sued arguing that Phone.com's UP Server Suite and UP Browser does infringe on its intellectual property.
"When Phone.com attacked our patent covering the Flex UI by filing a suit we took the necessary steps to ensure our patent rights are asserted as quickly and certainly as possible," said Grannan
The legal battle threatens to delay the use of Wap technology in the US, a country which has been slow to adopt the technology. According to Geoworks, an investigation by the ITC could take several months if the judge and the commission rule in favour of Geoworks. The suit filed by Phone.com is expected to take more than 12 months to reach a resolution.
Geoworks' patent is only enforced in the US and Japan. European companies are not required to license the technology to build Wap applications.
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